Saturday, March 14, 2009

Farmer's Market Roasted Tomato Dill Soup

Tomato Soup is good! I'm a big fan, in fact, tomato soup may even make an appearance on the menu at our wedding.....
My favorite tomato soup is Saturn Cafe's tomato soup. If you are from Santa Cruz, you know what I'm talking about. It's slightly creamy, smooth and yet a bit chunky, with a nice sprinkling of dill. This soup is addictive.

I have a confession to make. When I was in college in Tucson Arizona, far away from my beloved Saturn Cafe tomato soup, my roommate, Christina, and I would try to recreate the Saturn Soup. We tried and we tried, and we came up with some delicious tomato soup's along the way, but we never quite mastered the Saturn Cafe tomato soup recipe.

Moving on... At the Farmer's Market this morning I picked up a bunch of beautiful ripe tomatoes. I'm not going to try and recreate Saturn's Soup, but instead create my own delicious tomato dill soup. My Mom recently gave me my first Le Creuset pot. Hallelujah. I've basically tried to cook every meal in it. I love it. I officially became slightly obsessed with Le Creuset cookware when I was at JenO's house and we used her Le Cresuset pots to make a fantastic 7 course meal. I think we made roasted tomato soup that night too. Thanks a lot JenO for giving me expensive taste in cookware!

I decided to roast my tomato's in the Le Creuset, to give the soup a little smoky flavor. Roasting is great because it lets out yummy juices, the soup practically makes itself, you hardly have to add any other liquid. I wanted to make this soup non-dairy. If you choose to use veggie broth instead of chicken broth, this could be a vegan soup.

Roasted Tomato Dill Soup

* approximate. I never really measure, this is my best guest. Play around with the broth...add a little at a time until you reach the consistency you want.

12 small tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 shallot
1/2 cups Chicken broth
1/8 cup olive oil
1/3 or more fresh dill, chopped
a few dashes of paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Cut stems off tomato's and slice in half. Slice the red pepper in half and scoop out seeds. Toss the tomato's and peppers in olive oil, salt, & pepper.

Oil the bottom of the roasting pot.
Place the tomato's & red pepper, flesh side down, in a roasting pan or pot.
Roast for 20 minutes, add shallots, and continue roasting for 25 more minutes.

Add small amount of chicken broth to the roasted tomato & red pepper at a time and blend with an immersion blender. If you don't' have an immersion blender, you could place all the ingredients in a blender, but be sure to add all the juices from the roasting pan or pot. OR if you want a chunkier soup, remove the skin off tomatoes and peppers then mash the tomatoes with a masher. Continue to add broth until you reach the desired consistency.

Add chopped dill and stir in. Add paprika, salt & pepper to taste.

***Yum. This soup basically ROCKED. Mike described it as "clean & fresh." The red pepper gives tomato soup and interesting kick.

I served the soup with Farmer's Market artichokes & a yogurt, lemon, dill dipping sauce. Sounds like a strange mix, I know, but the dill in the soup & in the dipping sauce really tied the meal together.

I am quite happy with this meal. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Yummy Valentine

Valentines Day and the Marcellino-Paul house was delicious. Not being huge fans of Valentines Day, but still wanting to celebrate somehow, we spent the night in, cooking an awesome 3 course meal together.

Valentines Day Menu
Mushroom Soup
Brioche stuffed with filet
, mushroom, onion, and swiss cheese
Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles.

Mushroom Soup
...crazy easy...crazy crazy good

I have no idea how i made this, but it was awesome. I really wanted to make a creamy mushroom soup without using cream or milk......I came up with this. I just added stuff here and there, so I have no idea of measurements.....if you make this, and I think you should, just play around with it till it tastes good to you.

Mushroom Soup
14 brown mushrooms, sliced
2 large portabella mushrooms
1TBSP butter
1 shallot, chopped
3 TBSP greek yogurt
1/2 cup of chicken broth
splash of red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon
fresh dill

In a deep saucepan, saute mushrooms and shallots in butter till soft. Add yogurt, dill, paprika, salt and pepper. I put this mixture into my magic bullet, added 1/2 of the chicken broth and blended it (it came out thick, almost like a pate), pour mixture back into saucepan and add chicken broth until you reach the desired consistency. Reheat mixture till hot.

Brioche stuffed with
filet mignon
, mushroom, onion, and swiss cheese

This was decedent. Sooooo good. We just threw this together, so I don't really have a recipe for this either.....but I'll try.

2 small round brioche bread loafs
Filet Mignon, cooked and cut into small pieces
sherry vinegar
red wine
swiss cheese
flat leaf parsley

cut out a round circle and scoop out the bread
from the center. Lightly toast the bread in an oven set to 250 degrees for about 5 minutes and take the bread out of the oven. Turn up the over to 400 degrees.

In a skillet, saute mushrooms and onions with butter until soft. Add filet mignon pieces, red wine, sherry vinegar
, flat leaf parsley, salt, and pepper.

Lay a piece of swiss on the bottom of the brioche bowl. Spoon in filet, mushroom, and onion mixture into the brioche bowl making sure to add the juices from the mixture into the bowl. Place one piece of swiss cheese on top, covering with a small amount of mixture.

Place in over for about 10 minutes.

Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles
(thank you Epicurious)

I won't lie, I am a fan of all things cream puff.....eclair, profiteroles.....oh my. Love em. I thought the eggy hollow dough would be difficult to make, not so. This was so easy...too easy, now I know I can make these things on a whim, could be dangerous. We decided to make profiteroles, but instead of stuffing them with traditional cream, we choose to make coffee ice cream to stuff them with. I'd seen this idea before on epicurious. Good choice. This was so good, i can't even explain to you the amazing-ness! all I can say is YUM-CITY. Making the coffee ice cream was a bit long and complicated, but I must say, worth it.

Profiteroles Pastries

6 TBSP unsalted butter

3/4 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup flour

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425°

In a small saucepan boil butter, water, and salt. Reduce heat to medium, then add flour beating with a wooden spoon, until all ingredients are mixed together mixture and a dough ball forms. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool for 2 minutes.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating with an electric mixer.

Transfer warm mixture to pastry bag ( I used a zip lock baggy and cut off a tiny bit of 1 works perfect) pipe small mounds on a buttered baking sheet. I piped mine a bit too big....pipe them small to get a true cream puff shape.

Bake for 20 minutes. Prick each profiterole one time with a skewer, turn off oven but return pastry to oven to dry, propping oven door slightly, 3 minutes.

Cool on sheet on a rack.

once cooled. Slice each profiterole horizontally and stuff with coffee ice cream (see recipe below)

drizzle with chocolate sauce Serve immediately or put profiteroles in freezer.

Coffee Ice Cream-David Lebovitz recipe

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole decaf coffee beans
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee
pinch of salt

Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream over medium heat until mixture is hot,but not boiling. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep for 1 hour.

An hour later.....Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until its hot again. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Then, pour the heated milk/coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so the egg does not cook. Pour this mixture back into a sauce pan.

Here's the boring...but essential part....Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, for about 10 minutes. the mixture will thicken and become a custard.

Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl.

Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Strain out the beans. Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool.

Follow your ice cream maker instructions.

Whoa-la. Coffee ice cream. Delicious.

This was a perfect wintery meal. Mike and I had so much fun in the kitchen preparing dinner. We decided that cooking a 3 course meal will be our new Valentines Day tradition. The best thing in this menu, believe it or not, was the mushroom soup. It was simple and unexpectedly delicious. Don't' get me wrong, I will make profiteroles again, maybe everyday for the rest of my life, but the mushroom soup is a definite crowd pleasing keeper. Happy Valentines Day Friends!